Common Sense Media says
Semi-social site helps users collect images for inspiration.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that to join, users must be invited by another Pinterest member -- or request an invitation through the site. When registering, you have to sign up using a Facebook or Twitter account; the site says it's to cut spam and make finding friends easier, and you control whether or not your Pinterest posts appear on other social networking sites. You can also unlink your Pinterest and Facebook or Twitter account after registering.
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What Kids Can Learn
Kids can learn snippets about science, sewing, and other topics via user-created bulletin boards featuring images from other sites. However, the brief photo descriptions don't usually include much, if any, background info. Some topics (DIY & Crafts, Science & Nature) have more informative posts than others (Apparel). Links to additional information are hit-or-miss. Pinterest is good a way to express yourself by organizing and sharing what you find on the web that inspires you. Most boards have photos that are interesting and inspirational but not very informative.
Whats it about?
Pinterest offers fashion fans -- and art, car, and other enthusiasts -- a chance to fawn over their favorite items. Users can easily grab and add photos from other sites to a customized bulletin board; they can also post comments on photos other users have picked. You won't find as many back-and-forth conversations as on Facebook, or much background on the items users post: People use Pinterest to showcase stuff they like. However, if you're looking for new looks, hobbies, or activities to try, Pinterest may provide some creative inspiration.
Is it any good?
PINTEREST makes it easy to categorize clothes, accessories, art, and other items you find interesting. Just add the "Pin It" button to your bookmarks bar and click on it to add any website image you like to one of your boards. Users categorize their Pinterest boards by topic -- such as fitness or food and drink. That makes it easy to search for other users with similar tastes; you can repin their picks or post comments about them.
However, Pinterest feels less interactive than Facebook or Twitter; users seem to repin more than they comment, which doesn't make the experience very social. Still, many of the user-created boards provide hairstyle, craft, and other ideas, and Pinterest is a great way to keep track of your favorite fashion looks. But be aware that all the usual social networking privacy concerns apply. You can limit who posts images to your boards; but if the Facebook or Twitter account you register with includes a photo and your full name, users will view your favorite pics on Pinterest -- and your identity.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
- Families can talk about why you might not want all users on a new website that you just registered for to be able to access your profile and other information -- even if someone you know invited you to join the site. What items could you remove or hide on your site profile to make the experience safer?
- What kinds of images are OK to share on boards or profiles other users can see? Should you post pictures of you and your friends? What images shouldn't you post?
- Sites like Pinterest and Facebook offer a way to express yourself -- but what kind of comments would you not want to post on a site where all users could potentially see it? How can you change your privacy settings to make sure only the right people have access to the thoughts you share?
This rating and review provided by Common Sense Media.
For more information, please visit www.commonsense.org